What does one do when they want something they cannot have? Something out of their reach merely because of the circumstances of life? They simmer beneath the surface. They bring envy, jealousy, longing, and yearning together in one pot and pray it doesn’t boil over. That’s exactly where I am in my life – silently stewing over that which life has shut the door to me without my consent, wishing for just one more.
You see, it’s my body after all. It is my right by gender, by birth. It is what my body was designed to do in all technicality. Yet, the rules and boundaries of society say “No” to what I want most in my life right now… another baby.
It is not like I haven’t any children at all, which, for that, some part of me feels terribly guilty and horribly ashamed for feeling the way that I do. It is embarrassing for me to talk about. Before I say another word, yes, I am quite aware of how other women have to wage war on themselves – all in the name of motherhood – while I am over here with four kids already. I know how unfair and selfish that makes me seem, especially when you see me struggling with the brood I’ve got. Yet, the feelings I am consumed by linger on, spinning silently a tangled web of emotions in my mind.
All day long, I daydream of satisfying this obsessive pang I feel for a new baby to nurture.
My children have all reached school age now, you see. They are becoming more and more independent, no longer needing me for the same innocent, helpless reasons as when they were toddlers. I am only useful when they need clean clothes, a meal, or a taxi. They are so wrapped up in their own interests, I am just a casual presence in their lives – merely a fixture in their day to give direction and guidance and resource anything they don’t want to or cannot Google from their devices.
They tell me to go away, that they wish they had a different family, and all the other typical kid phrases dished out when Mom is encroaching on their all-of-a-sudden need for privacy. The infamous “I hate you” flies around this house, cutting tension midair more often than any mother is willing to admit.
I yearn for the baby days back in the deepest corner of my heart, like an elderly woman longing for her youth.
All I think about is holding a crying infant who only wants my love and attention. Who relies on me, not out of convenience and expectation, but out of pure, innocent helplessness. I miss the tenderness, the gentleness.
So why not have another baby if that’s what my heart desires?
Because I cannot financially support another child, that’s why. The circumstances in which my life has unfolded have left me limited in the budget department. It is hard enough to provide for the four children I have as it is – another mouth to feed, body to clothe, and mind to educate will put us deeper in debt than ever before. It would be irresponsible and selfish to bring another baby into this world.
But the logic doesn’t sit right in my heart of hearts, exploding with love to give. The same love my children now take for granted.
My ovaries twist up with every baby picture I see posted online. My uterus aches with the emptiness. I don’t want to wait another fifteen to twenty years – or more – for a grandchild to hold tight. I want another baby in my life NOW.
While everyone else tells of how they would never want to be pregnant again because of this horrible symptom or that terrible complication, I am enthralled by the idea of watching my body swell all over and puking my guts out another nine straight months. The idea of growing another human being, of magically creating a new life deep within me, trumps any misery the process could unleash on the rest of me. Nothing else matters but the end result – a precious bundle of innocence needing my unconditional love to survive.
So, here I am sitting in the waning moonlight, staring dreamily out the window, wishing on my lucky star. The one that brought my husband and four children into my arms.
Deep down I am clinging to the hope that our circumstances will change by some miracle so I can have that one last baby someday. I don’t want to be done. I don’t want the pitter patter of thumping knees crawling across my floor, the soft whimpers in the middle of the night, the gurgles and coos and flailing movements from uncoordinated limbs to come to an end. I do not want my dreams to die.
I have no idea now what to do with myself, how to make this yearning for new life come to a halt. How to end the madness in my mind that is the want of another baby. My body is still capable, my heart is more than big enough, my love, endless enough, yet my bank account is not. There is nothing more than I am already doing to change the facts that be, yet it isn’t enough.
It seems so unfair to be weighted into a decision because the rules of society hold greater power than the longings of my soul. Maybe I am simply being selfish. Maybe I am just a tad bit crazy.
Maybe I am setting myself up for the greatest let down of my life by wanting so badly something life tells me I cannot have.
So tell me, then… what does one do with dreams that cannot come true yet simmer under the surface, out of control? How do I accept the fate that life has bestowed? How do I live with wanting something I cannot have?
Tell me, now, because I need to know. I need to let go. For another baby just cannot be.